In this article I want to share with you my hair regrowth story.
I was hesitant to share this, because a good story should have a good ending, and my hair regrowth story hasn’t ended yet.
My hair still isn’t perfect.
But the main thing is, it’s a lot thicker, fuller and less-receded than it was a few years ago.
Here’s a photo from 2013 when my receding hairline went very far back, and my hair was very thin on top and at the crown:
I don’t actually have too many photos of this period because I tried to avoid having any photos taken of me or desperately tried to cover up my balding patch.
Here’s a photo I literally just took with my iPhone whilst I was writing this article (June 2019):
Yes, I still have a bit of a receded hairline, (which is filling in) but it’s much, much better than it was a few years ago.
My hair is much thicker, much stronger and much healthier all round
I’m not worried about it looking thin when it’s wet or sweaty, and I’m not worried about the wind blowing lol.
All this without drugs like minoxidil or finasteride or an expensive/dangerous hair transplant.
It was a lot of trial and error to get to this point where my hair is actually getting better with age.
Now I want to show you what actually worked for me.
I want to give you 10 steps to get your hair regrowing again and getting thicker and healthier each and every month.
With that said…
Hair regrowth takes a long time!
If I expected to see results in the first few months I would have quit this regimen that works!
Hair just doesn’t regrow very fast at all.
I knew that hair regrowth takes time so I decided to stick with any new treatment for at least 3 months before expecting to see any positive results.
The second reason this regimen works so well is that I stacked up the different treatments so they work in a complimentary way together.
If I had tried just a new shampoo or a new supplement alone it’s very unlikely that would have made a big positive change.
The best way I can illustrate this is with the diagram below:
As you can see from the diagram, there are many different factors that can cause hair loss.
There are also many factors that can cause hair regrowth.
By removing as many of the ‘hair loss factors’ and adding in as many of the ‘hair growth factors’ as possible, that is how I was able to regrow my hair.
There are 10 steps to my hair care regimen that reverses hair loss and some of the steps us emy Hairguard products
Me and my team here at Hairguard created these products because we weren’t happy with any of the other available products on the market.
I’ll point out which ones I use and it’s up to you whether you use the same products or choose different ones.
We have spent a long time developing our products into the best in the world.
I use these products myself everyday and I’m incredibly picky/ devoted to regrowing my hair.
So, without further ado let’s start with step 1.
You can also skip to any section that interests you using the blue links below:
- 1: A Proper Growth Shampoo
- 2: Scalp Elixir Topical Growth
- 3: Microneedling – Once a week
- 4: Scalp Massage – 10 minutes daily
- 5: Growband – 10 minutes daily
- 6: LLLT – Low Level Laser Therapy – 10 minutes daily
- 7: The Hairbiotic – 1 capsule daily
- 8: Stress reduction
- 9: Removing inflammatory foods and adding anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense foods
- 10: Filtered drinking and showering water
1: A Proper Growth Shampoo
One of the first things you should do is stop using a chemical shampoo.
A shampoo which contains chemicals (anything on the ingredients label you can’t pronounce) will kill you hair follicles over the long term.
Most shampoos contain these harsh chemicals because they are needed for the shampoo to smell nice, have a nice texture and make a nice foamy lather.
Unfortunately, the same chemicals that give the nice smell, texture and foam are also destructive to hair follicles.
Most shampoos use the same foaming chemical that they use in car washes to give a nice foam.
In fact all of those chemicals damage the hair follicles, stip away protective oils, cause dandruff, and damage the scalp.
I use the Hairguard Shampoo, and I only use it once a week. It contains no harsh chemicals and is packed with natural ingredients that have been scientifically proven to be beneficial in hair regrowth.
One example of these beneficial ingrdients is Oleuropien which is completely natural and yet it beat minoxidil in a head-to-head study for hair regrowth:
See here the hair length after 28 days comparing Oleuropein, minoxidil and a control:
OP = Oleuropein
MXD = Minoxidil
CON = Control
And the number of viable dermal papilla cells (hair follicle cells):
This is why I like using Oleuropein in my shampoo, along with other hair growing natural ingriendts that come in the Hairguard Shampoo.
We researched every single compoiund that had shown positive hair growth results in scientific studies and the best ones we put in the shampoo.
I use the shampoo just once per week though, as it’s important not to remove too much of the protective oils from your scalp.
Keep in mind though that this is only a shampoo.
It’s not a miracle cure, and shampoo doesn’t stay in contact with your scalp for very long so it’s effect is limited.
That’s why my hair only started regrowing once I added in all the steps (or as many as possible.)
Okay, on to the next step…
2: Scalp Elixir Topical Growth
Step 2 is every evening before going to bed I’ll apply the Hairguard Scalp Elixir.
The Scalp Elixir was the first ever Hairguard product and is designed to help block DHT and stimulate hair growth topically when sprayed on to thinning or receding areas of the scalp.
I’ll spray the Scalp Elixir onto areas of my scalp that are thinning or receding before bed time and massage in and leave overnight to work on the hair follicles.
Every single ingredient in the Elixir has been chosen specifically to aid in hair regrowth without damaging the hair follicles in the long term.
The liquid is designed to absorb easily into the scalp without leaving a mess and since all the ingredients are natural there are no associated side-effects like you might get with minoxidil.
For example, peppermint extract had a higher hair regrowth score than minoxidil after 4 weeks, which is why we include this extract in our Scalp Elixir:
Okay, so that’s steps 1 and 2. Shampoo once a week and Scalp Elixir before bed.
3: Microneedling – Once a week
Microneedling using a dermaroller is the 3rd step to my hair regrowth regimen.
I do a microneedling session every 7 days.
On that day I do microneedling I’ll skip using the Scalp Elixir that evening.
In studies, microneedling proved very effective. It helped increase the effectiveness of Minoxidil for example by 400%.
It’s also fairly quick and easy to do. You miught spend a total of 20 minutes per week doing it.
We also have a free dermaroller available, you just need to cover the cost on shipping and handling and we’ll send that out to you.
This video we made about how to use the dermaroller will be useful if you want to know more.
It’s pretty straightforward so far right?
But you can see how each step adds up to make hair regrowth more and more likely.
When I tried any of these steps individually I had mediocre results, but adding them together made all the difference.
To summarise again, I’ll use the shampoo once per week, the Scalp Elixir every day, except when I use the dermaroller (once a week.)
With these 3 steps in place I’m already starting to see healthier hair and less hair loss.
The next few steps really helped to boost the growth of new hair follicles for me.
Now let’s move on to step 4.
4: Scalp Massage – 10 minutes daily
Step 4 is 10 minutes daily of scalp massages.
This is probably the most important step, so make sure you don’t skip it.
Male pattern baldness is primarily caused by tension in the scalp, by using scalp massages (and a ‘weird’ device which I’ll explain in the next step) we help reduce this tension, and so the hair can regrow.
Without reducing this tension the hair has a much, much harder time to regrow.
But by removing the tension, the hair can regrow much more easily.
It makes all the other hair loss treatments much more effective.
With the addition of 10 minutes of scalp massages per day, that’s when I really started to notice more hair.
I want to show you exactly how to perform the scalp massages, so we made these videos:
View the rest of the massage videos here.
Okay, now you know how to perform the massages that’s the first 4 steps out of the way.
Let me show you a very useful device that further reduces scalp tension, increases blood flow and boosts hair growth.
5: Growband – 10 minutes daily
Setp 5 is all about further reducing scalp tension, and at the same time, increasing blood flow and growth hormones to the hair follicles.
For me, this step made a big difference.
I can really feel my scalp become flushed with blood and oxygen when I use the Growband.
Just like the scalp massages, I use the Growband for 10 minutes each day (usually after the massage session.)
This device helps lift up the scalp around the perimeter allowing more blood to flow into the top of the scalp.
It also helps stretch the tissues at the back and massage those muscles. By reducing the tension at the back, the hairs all over the head have much more room to grow properly.
Using the Growband is simple.
Place it on your head where it sits comfortably. Put it in the position where inflating it causes your scalp to rise up.
Inflate until you can feel your scalp being firmly squeezed upwards, hold for around a few seconds, and then deflate.
Continue this cycle for 10 minutes.
What you want to aim for as a good indicator that the Growband is working is when you inflate it your scalp rises upwards and when you dflate it your scalp moves downwards. This shows it’s in the right position.
Sometimes I’ll adjust the position of the Growband slightly so that it stretches different parts of the scalp.
Don’t overinflate the Growband so that it squeezes too hard. You’ll know when to stop pumping it because you’re scalp won’t be rising up anymore.
That’s the first 5 steps, and the most important ones.
Steps 6-10 really helped boost my hair growth even further.
6: LLLT – Low Level Laser Therapy – 10 minutes daily
LLLT is one of those things that’s just so easy to do every day that is just makes sense to do it.
All I do is for 10 mins per day I’ll put my laser cap on my head while I watch the news or a Netflix show.
After 10 mins the cap will automatically turn itself off and I’m done.
It couldn’t be easier.
About once a week the battery needs to be recharged which is very simple.
Although some people have gotten significant visible regrowth using the laser cap just by itself, for me I see it as an additional therapy to keep the hairs as healthy as possible and provide them with that little extra boost.
Since it’s so easy to do I don’t mind doing it daily.
LLLT has been proven in multiple clinical studies to regrow hair all by itself.
But for me, it’s just one of those extra ‘hair growth factors’ that I stacked onto the others to make regrowing my hair almost inevitable.
7: The Hairbiotic – 1 capsule daily
The Hairbiotic is our probiotic that has been designed to help with healthy hair growth.
Probiotics help introduce healthy bacteria back into the gut, and some studies have shown that some specific strains of probiotic have improved hair health considerably.
If you’ve ever taken antibiotics, eaten foods with preservatives or drunken tap water with fluorides in then the chances are you might have killed some of the beneficial friendly bacteria in your gut that help protect your hair.
Without these friendly bacteria you could lose hair much more easily.
I take 1 capsule of the Hairguard Hairbiotic each day in the morning with water.
The Hairbiotic contains 6 strains of probiotic which can help improve hair health.
These strains of probitoic that we’ve chosen also help increase Vitamin D synthesis. This is important because Vitamin D deficiency is often a big factor in hair loss.
8: Stress reduction
High stress levels are big factor for hair loss. Sometimes high stress can be easy to fix and sometimes you’re just going through a stressful period caused by an uncontrollable event.
If the stress is caused by some on-going lifestyle factor then this is something you’ll need to address and try and change over time.
Taking the time to setup your life to minimise chronic stress is something that will benefit your health and your hair in the long term.
Here are a few things I did that have helped me, although I could do better I’m sure.
Breathing, meditation and regualr exercise where the most useful for me. Without exercise I feel my body starting to get very stressed out. Doing a 3 minutes of daily breathing exercises also helped me a lot.
Reducing phone electronic screen usage before bedtime helped my sleep better which in turn reduced my stress levels.
Writing down repetitive negative thoughts of self talk on paper to get them out of my head was also useful.
Primarily I setup my lifestyle to reduce stress by doing things like reducing my commute and eliminating, automating and outsourcing repetitive work tasks.
One easy way to decrease your stresss levels is to take a herb called ashwaganda.
In studies ashwaganda helped reduce cortisol levels by 30%
Our Hairguard Supplement contains ashwaganda, so with the daily supplement I feel less stressed and my hair generally grows quicker from all the additional nutrients and minerals in the supplement.
9: Removing inflammatory foods and adding anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense foods
Nutrition was also an important part of getting back my hair.
I reduced my intake of inflammatory foods such as gluten and vegetable oils.
I also tried to avoid foods with a high glycemic index that would cause my blood sugar levels to spike.
It will be much harder to regrow your hair if your diet is unhealthy, but it doesn’t need to be too complicated or difficult to eat the right foods.
I increased my intake of anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, bone broths, organ meats and seafood.
Inflammation can be a trigger for hair loss (that’s why I removed inflammatory foods from my diet) but anti-inflammatory foods also help lower inflammation.
These are foods like vegetables, fruits and some nuts and seeds.
There’s a full list of good, okay and bad foods to eat for hair regrowth in our nutrition module, so take a look at that if you’re wondering about a specific food.
Eating nutrient dense foods is also important to make sure you don’t have a nutrient deficiency that could be stunting your hair growth.
Nowadays there are so many foods that are full of wheat, corn and rice which are not nutrient dense at all. They even take nutrients from our bodies instead of giving them to us.
Zinc is a common deficiency in people with hair loss, especially those who are very active.
That’s why I added a couple of oysters each week to my diet. They are very rich in zinc.
10: Filtered drinking and showering water
Step 10, the final step is all about water.
If you have brittle hair and/or dandruff then dehydration could be one of the causes.
I know, it sounds too simple to be true, but more water = less dry hair and scalp.
Drinking at least 2 litres of filtered water per day is important.
If you’re drinking unfiltered tap water then I would guess you’re not getting enough water because most tap water tastes pretty bad and our body just doesn’t really want to drink too much of it.
Try and drink at least 1 litre of filtered water early in the morning upon rising. This will help make sure you get through your 2 litres per day.
Drinking more water helps reduce dandruff and improves brittle hair. It also helps the liver do it’s job properly which in turn will benefit your hair considerably.
My regimen simply involved making sure I drank 2 litres of filtered water each day, in addition to any other beverages I consumed.
There’s more info about water and hair loss here.
Also, this is really important; in some places around the world it is super important to filter your shower water.
Some tap water can be very damaging to the hair follicles.
It varies by region though.
I’ve found that some places after I shower my scalp is incredibly itchy, dry and my hair is flat and stripped.
In some places my hair is fine after showering without a filter.
Use filtered or bottled water to wet your hair if you think that your shower water might be making your hair lifeless/thin/itchy.
This is really important.
To summarise, this was the hair care regimen that helped regrow my hair. It took 5 years of trial and error to get here but this is what now works phenomenaly well for me:
- Replaced chemical shampoos with the Haiguard Shampoo and use 1x per week max
- Daily use of the Scalp Elixir before bed time
- Weekly use of the dermaroller (skip the Scalp Elixir that day)
- Scalp massages – 10 minutes daily
- Growband – 10 minutes daily
- Laser Cap 272 – 10 minutes daily
- Daily Hairbiotic supplement to restore beneficial bacteria
- Stress reduction and stress-reducing herbs
- Removing inflammatory foods where possible (gluten, vegetable oils)
- Adding in anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense foods where possible
- Filtering your shower water and drinking water
This is what worked incredibly well for me.
It might seem like a lot, but it’s really not to hard once you’ve got in the habit.
Plus you overall health will benefit massively.
Once I fine tuned my hair care regimen to this I started noticing very positive results within 6 months.
If you have any questions about one of the steps or the regimen overall then please write a comment below and I’ll try to answer it ASAP.
Agian, I want to emphasise, this isn’t too hard. I’m a kinda lazy person and busy with stuff too. Once I had the habit of these 10 steps I started to enjoy doing them.
It’s rewarding and enjoyable to see my hair health getting better.
More steps = better results.
If you really want the best results possible do as many steps as possible and stick with it for at least 6 months.
(Don’t quit after 2 months if you don’t see lots of new hairs because this does take longer than 2 months.)
I use the Hairguard products because they worked the best for me. You can look into alternatives but if you want to follow my regimen exactly then here’s a summary of which product I used for each step:
Step 1: Caffeine Shampoo
Step 2: Scalp Elixir
Step 3: The 1mm dermaroller (FREE – just cover s&h)
Step 4: —
Step 5: The Growband
Step 6: The 272 Laser Cap
Step 7: The Hairbiotic
Step 8: The Complete Supplement
Step 9: —
Step 10: —
I also wanted it to be super easy to get the product delivered to your door every 2 months so you didn’t mess-up your regimen and lose valuable days that would set back your hair regrowth.
That’s why you can now choose automatic delivery every 2 months (and save 15% in the process). It’s super easy to stop, pause, skip or modify any subscriptions within your account area with a few clicks.
That’s it, let me know what questions or comments you have by writing in the box below. I’ll try to answer them as quickly as possible.
Regrowing your hair is not easy, but it is possible.
How do I know?
Because I’ve done it myself, and I’ve also shown hundreds of other men and women how they can naturally regrow their hair too.
In this article I’m going to share with you only what has actually been proven, either in scientific studies, or even better, through my own experiments, to work.
And it has worked for other people too, like Laura:
And like Andrew:
But after reading this article you should have a good understanding of what you will need to do to stimulate regrowth.
Hair loss is not natural, and therefore it can be reversed.
Never listen to anyone who says that ‘pattern baldness’ is inevitable and only gets worse. It’s only true if you decide to do nothing about it.
There are only two things to focus on when grow back your hair:
- Reducing the factors that cause hair loss
- Boosting the factors that cause hair growth
I’m going to talk about both in this article.
You should also keep in mind that growing lost hair is a slow process.
Just think about a new born baby and how long it takes for its hair to grow. It’s typically around 6 months.
So, for you to start seeing really clear, visible results, you should expect to stick with these methods for at least 6 months.
With that said, you can often see and feel good results in the quality of your hair and scalp within a few weeks.
Okay, let’s get started.
Increase Hair Growth Nutrients With Smoothies and Bone Broth
Your hair needs nutrients and minerals to grow. These are the fundamental building blocks of the hair follicle and without them, growth is stunted.
Further, your body knows that having hair is not the most important thing for survival. So if there is a lack of nutrients or minerals in your body, your hair won’t be a priority.
This is why, the first thing you should do to grow your lost hair is to make sure you have an absolute abundance of the specific building blocks of the hair.
You can do this in two ways:
- Hair growth smoothies
- Bone broth
Both of these have very specific nutrient and minerals profiles which closely match those needed for hair follicle growth.
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
One of the quickest and most efficient ways to provide the raw material for new hair follicles is with my tailored berry smoothie.
The more varieties of berries the better, since the variety means we have more chance of getting a complete nutritional profile of micronutrients.
Due to depleted top soils, chemical fertilisers and selective breeding, it’s more likely than ever that we’re getting less nutrition from each berry, fruit or vegetable. So it’s important to vary the source as much as possible.
- Mixed frozen berries (a cupful)
- 1 banana (the more ripe the sweeter)
- Hemp protein + pea protein (2 heaped tablespoons)
- Coconut oil (a heaped teaspoon chunk)
- Almond butter (a heaped teaspoon)
- Niacin (one powdered capsule)
- Probiotic (one powdered capsule)
- Mixed essential oils (3 teaspoons)
- Mixed greens powder (a tablespoon)
- Coconut water or almond milk (to desired consistency)
For an additional special ingredient, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds soaked overnight in coconut water with a probiotic capsule. You’ll find out later why the probiotic capsule is important.
I’ve designed this smoothie over a year or so, improving it as I go to increase the hair growth potential of the ingredients. Let’s quickly look at each one.
Berries provide abundant antioxidants, minerals, nutrients and enzymes. Berries were designed by nature to be eaten and we’ve evolved eating them, so they are incredibly easy for our body to digest and assimilate into the the raw building blocks for healthy growth.
The colourful nature of the berry is a good indicator of it’s high antioxidant capacity. The banana is more for flavour and texture than anything else, but also provides long lasting energy throughout the day.
Hemp and pea protein are one of the best sources of protein available to us, and since hair is made from keratin, which is a form of protein, it’s important to get a form of protein that’s easily digestible and useable by the body.
Coconut oil provides a high quality form of fat, that also helps with the digestion of the other ingredients. It will also help with any itchy scalp or dandruff issues by reducing dryness in the scalp.
Almond butter isn’t always necessary but provides high quality protein and fat that also tastes great.
In a later section you’ll read why the probiotic capsule, which aids in a healthy bacterial balance is so important here.
Mixed essential oils provide high quality fats with a good omega 3 and 6 quantity. The mixed oils I use include:
- Avocado oil
- Pomegranate oil
- Hemp oil
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Evening primrose oil
Mixed greens powders provide alkalising micronutrients from various different plants. You’ll find out in a later section why it’s important that they are alkalising. Mixed greens powders are easily available online or in health foods shops and can contain:
Next add almond milk or coconut water to your desired consistency. Most shop-bought almond milks don’t contain much almond, and instead contain fillers and preservatives. In this case choose coconut water. This provides healthy fats and minerals.
I recommend drinking the smoothie every morning on an empty stomach (which aids quick and efficient digestion.)
Now let’s look at bone broth.
Bone broth is made by simmering bones from chicken, lamb, beef or fish in water for a long period of time.
The water extracts many useful materials from the bones which can then be used directly by the body to build new hair follicles.
The amino acids in bone broth and in hair are remarkably similar and bone broth also contains high amounts of collagen, which as you’ll find out in a later chapter is very important for new hair growth hair.
I recommend making a large batch of homemade bone broth and then freezing small batches that you can have every day.
Detox and Alkalise with Vegetable Juices
When you change the oil in your car, do you leave the engine running?
Nope, didn’t think so!
To clean the body, you must first stop the digestive process.
Digestion takes a lot of energy and a lot of digestive fluids. So while digestion is taking place, it’s harder for the body to clean itself.
All animals naturally fast (stop digestion) when ill, and most religions have fasting as some sort of practice. But for our purposes we can use fasting to help clean the body as press the ‘reset button’.
Detox has a many benefits for healthy hair growth:
- Cleaning the digestive system making absorption of food more efficient
- Cleaning the organs such as liver and kidney allowing them to work better
- Removing wastes and heavy metals from the tissues
- Alkalising the body to inhibit 5AR
- Increasing good bacteria whilst inhibiting bad bacteria
- Creating a ‘clean slate’ for dietary habits and cravings
All of these, in their own way help to trigger new hair, but I want to focus on just one right now: alkalising to inhibit 5AR.
5-alpha-reductase (5AR) is the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT, and DHT is the hormone that widely known the cause hair loss.
(Although it’s not quite that simple, the connection was made because men with low levels of DHT never suffered from male pattern baldness, but there is more to it than simply lowering your DHT levels.)
In a study in 1997 scientists discovered that the enzyme 5AR (specifically Type 2) needed acidic conditions to work properly. In alkaline conditions, the enzyme was inhibited, so less testosterone was converted into DHT, and less DHT went on to attack the hair follicles.
5 alpha-reductase activity was determined at pH 5 (optimal for the type 2 isozyme) and pH 7 (optimal for the type 1 isozyme) in isolated infrainfundibular segments from sebaceous and vellus follicles…
Each food that we eat has a net acidic and alkaline affect on our body, because when the food is metabolised there is a kind of ‘metabolic ash’ that’s left over.
Some foods are acidic (after metabolism) some are alkaline and some are neutral. Our body has evolved eating certain kinds of foods. Eating these foods leaves the body with a certain ‘optimum pH.’ And when our body is at this pH we are healthy and cells and enzymes work like they are supposed to.
However, our modern diets, with more grains, dairy and meats than we’ve evolved to eat is heavily weighted on the acidic side of the spectrum.
And alkalising fruits, vegetables and spices make up a smaller and smaller part of our diet. Overall this means most people are too acidic than alkaline.
This over-acidity causes the overactivity of the type-2-5-alpha-reducatse enzyme in the scalp meaning an excess of DHT right in the part of the scalp where hair loss first occurs, the crown and temples.
I definitely recommend that you cut down on grains and dairy and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, but I want to show you a way to right your acid/alkaline balance as quickly as possible.
This is by using vegetable juicing to extract the alkalising part of the vegetable, the juice (and remove the fibre) so you alkalise your body as quickly as possible.
The three best vegetables to use are carrots, celery and cucumber. In fact you can just use these three alone if you like.
What I recommend, to alkalise your body as quickly as possible it to do a 5 day vegetable juice fast, where you drink only vegetable juice for a period of 5 days. No food whatsoever for 5 days.
This is known as a detox and rapidly alkalises your body back to its natural pH, whilst helping to remove toxins and wastes that can also harm healthy hair.
Avoiding Hot Showers, Chemicals & Appliances
There are simple things we all do that damage the health of our hair.
Typically they’re ‘modern comforts’ that make our day to day lives easier, but end up damaging your hair in the long term.
Hot showers are one example. Hot water strips away the natural oils from the hair follicle and scalp leaving the hair brittle and the scalp dry.
This makes it vulnerable to breakage, and the dry, inflamed and irritated scalp is more prone to reduced blood flow and therefore hair follicle miniaturization.
This is why I recommend you use only cool/cold water in the shower. The cold water protects the follicles and opens up the capillaries in the scalp increasing blood flow (blood flow is the most important factor in regaining lost hair.)
Any ‘unnatural’ heat will damage the hair. That’s why it’s a good idea to stay away from heating appliances like dryers and straighteners.
I also have a rule which I recommend you follow – If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin (or hair) – this goes for things like shampoos, moisturisers, deodorants, dyes etc.
I created this rule because people think it’s okay to use chemical ridden shampoos, and yet they wouldn’t understand half the ingredients because they are all chemicals.
The skin is not an impermeable barrier, the chemicals get through the skin and damage the body.
One demonstration of this is the garlic experiment: Take a handful of peeled garlic and hold it against a large area of skin (such as your stomach.) Now cover the garlic with a hot, wet towel and leave for 10 minutes.
What you’ll notice is that the garlic gets into your body and can be smelt on your breath later throughout the day. This demonstrates clearly how permeable the skin is.
Putting any kind of chemicals on your hair or scalp will damage its long term health and aggravate hair loss. Why would you even bother when there are so many natural, nourishing ingredients you could use instead.
(More on this later)
So, let me summarise this section: Avoid unnatural heat and avoid chemicals and you’ll be giving your hair the best possible chance to grow back healthier than ever.
Make Your Own Hair Growth Shampoos
In the section above I mentioned that I recommend you immediately stop using shop-bought shampoos.
So what should you do instead?
Well, you could just cut out using shampoos altogether. This is called “the no-poo method” and is becoming increasingly popular. This is a good option, but for many people it’s a step too far.
The alternative is to make your own shampoos from all-natural ingredients.
Then, make them even better by tweaking the ingredients to suit your hair type and hair goals.
For example, you may have dry, brittle hair, and also suffer from hair loss. In which case you’ll want to add to the shampoo, for example, carrot seed oil to hydrate the hair and scalp and peppermint oil to stimulate hair growth.
Let’s take a closer look at a recipe you can start using instead of commercial shampoos.
Hair Loss Shampoo for Normal Hair
- Liquid castile soap (1/2 cup)
- Maple syrup (2 tablespoons)
- Carrot seed essential oil (5-10 drops)
- Castor oil (10 drops)
Combine all ingredients in the container of your choice. Mix well. Pour over wet hair, and massage into hair and scalp for 2-3 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
Maple syrup is delicious over pancakes or drizzled on sausage. And, while that’s common knowledge, you may not know that maple syrup is actually a powerful antibacterial with soothing and nourishing properties.
The benefits of this four-ingredient shampoo don’t stop there, though.
Castor oil is just a great addition to any shampoo, hair mask, or hair growth serum. It works as the carrier in this recipe, hydrating and nourishing the scalp, while the liquid castile soap works to gently cleanse and remove scalp buildup.
As mentioned above, homemade shampoos enable you to tweak the ingredients used. This makes it possible to use only the ingredients that suit your hair type and goals.
When making substitutions, however, there’s a few things I recommend you keep in mind:
- Follow the formula. As outlined in my chemical-free shampoo guide, there are three essential components to any shampoo recipe. They are: 1) cleansing agent; 2) essential oil; and 3) carrier oil. Incorporate at least one of each category into your shampoo and you’ll be off to an excellent start.
- Less is more. Store-bought shampoos have gotten us used to foaming, sudsy lathers. When you begin to make homemade, however, you’ll notice a dramatic decrease in lather volume. As long as you take the time to work the shampoo into your scalp and hair, there’s no need to aim for a high-volume of suds. Actually, less is better in the majority of cases.
- Essential oils are potent. Because direct contact with the skin can cause irritation and even chemical burns, I recommend you use 1 drop of essential oil per 5mL of carrier oil. This will provide the essential oils with enough dilution to protect your skin and scalp, but also enough potency to do what they do best.
Now, you can begin to experiment to your heart’s content. This means utilizing different cleansing agents, essential oils, and carrier oils, dependent on what you’d like to achieve.
For example, I recommend coconut oil to those who need a strong moisturizing and hydrating component to their shampoos. This is because coconut oil has been proven to penetrate deep into the hair shaft, protecting the hair from damage and water absorption.
Another method you can use to increase the hair growing ability of your shampoos is to use herbal extracts to wash your hair with.
See the graph below:
In the next section I’m going to show you how you can start using more essential oils to trigger your hair growth at a faster rate. In fact there are 17 plant oils that have been proven to help hair grow back.
Use Essential Oils Orally & Topically
Did you know that there are 17 essential oils I rate as having the potential to stimulate new hairs?
These oils are a cheap, easy, and efficient way to kick-start growth naturally, and right now I want to introduce you to two of my favourites.
Pumpkin seed oil
This versatile oil is composed of a variety of hair-growth boosting nutrients – including essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals such as magnesium and iron – making it a great choice for anyone looking to strengthen and grow back their hair.
What really seals the deal for me, however, is that Pumpkin Seed Oil (PSO) has actually been proven to be an effective treatment method in men with Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), also known as male-pattern baldness.
In fact, PSO was shown to improve the percentage of mean hairs by 40%! That’s astounding, especially when you consider that the placebo group only saw an increase by 10%.
Another bonus? Not only did hair counts increase, but so did thickness! This is clearly seen when you take a look at the images below.
So, how can you go about adding PSO to your hair care routine? While this oil is certainly beneficial when applied topically, I strongly recommend you add it to your diet.
As seen in the study, oral supplementation has some serious benefits.
A few ways to incorporate pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil into your diet:
- Eat it as a quick, on-the-go snack
- Add it to your smoothies, salads, and dressings
- Mix it into your soups and stews
- Add it to your morning bowl of oats
The great thing is that the supplementation possibilities are endless, making it a consistent and easy addition to your regular diet and health regimen.
An effervescent essential oil that brings with it thoughts of candy canes and chewing gum, peppermint oil is actually an incredibly effective treatment method in the battle against hair loss.
This soothing oil – adding a cool, mentholated feel when applied to the skin and scalp – is also moisturizing and cleansing. When used regularly, it can actually help to keep your hair follicles free and unclogged, while simultaneously keeping your skin moisturized.
Mice were split into four groups, each one supplemented with only one of the above-mentioned solutions.
At the end of the four-week study, it was clear that peppermint oil was the winner.
Not only did peppermint oil show the most significant increase in dermal thickness, but it was also proven to have the highest follicle growth score among the four solutions.
One thing to note is that peppermint oil didn’t just squeak by, barely making the cut as the top choice. Instead, it clearly outperformed the other three solutions by a significant amount.
Peppermint oil is best used topically. In fact, ingestion can be dangerous, even if diluted. The two best ways to use peppermint oil are:
- Add a few drops to your shampoo
- Add it to a carrier oil and use to massage your scalp
Both of the above methods will give the peppermint oil the ability to penetrate into the scalp. This is essential in order to boost blood circulation to the hair follicles, as well as cleanse and nourish.
Even everyday oils such as olive oil can be useful to stimulate more hair.
Heal Your Microbiome
I’ve lived in Asia for 3 years and one of the reasons I believe that pattern hair loss is much less common over here than in Europe, U.S., Canada, etc. is that people here have a much healthier microbiome.
The microbiome is the name given to the collection of bacterial cell inside the human body. Scientists beleive that bacterial cells outnumber human cells in the body, making us more bacteria than human.
At any rate, it’s clear that the health of our microbiome is innately important in our own health.
In the West however, we’re practically on a mission to kill all bacteria.
There’s fluroide in the tap water – a chemical that’s there to kill bacteria.
We eat processed and packaged foods full of preservatives – designed to kill bacteria
We’re often prescribed antibiotics for small infections or colds – designed to kill bacteria
We use antibacteial hand washes, deodorants, body washes and shampoos – all designed to kill bacteria in the name of hygiene.
We eat fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed and irradiated to kill bacteria and extend shelf-life.
The problem is, we’re not only killing the bad bacteria we’re also killing the healthy and important bacteria that must thrive inside our body for us to thrive too.
I believe that all of these factors coming together can considerably harm our microbiome. Just look at this comment from another article I wrote about the microbiome and hair loss:
You can read that article here.
What happens is, without a healthy microbiome you become much more vulnerable to autoimmune problems.
Autoimmune problems are when the body starts attacking itself, and you may know already that hair loss happens when our own hormone DHT, attacks our hair follicles, causing them to miniaturize.
To grow back lost hair, therefore, it’s crucially important to start healing your microbiome. Let’s look quickly at a few of the best ways to do this.
You can start by getting rid of things that kill bacteria. This means:
- Stop eating foods with preservatives in (any packaged or processed foods or drinks)
- Stop drinking unfiltered tap water
- Stop using chemical based hygiene products like hand-wash, deodorant, body-wash and shampoo
- Try to avoid taking antibiotics whenever possible
What are some of the things you can do to proactively heal your microbiome?
- Eat local fresh fruit and veg from farmer’s markets that hasn’t been sprayed or irradiated. The healthiest forms of bacteria are found on the outside of fruit and veg when freshly picked and they are the most powerful form of probiotic that is available to us. Ideally pick and eat your own if possible.
- Take a daily probiotic supplement
- Eat and drink fermented and probiotic food and drinks like kefir, kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut
- Eat more fiborous foods such as fruits and veggies, since healthy bacteria thrives on the fibre, whilst also helping to sweep the bowels clean removing waste that could allow harmful bacteria to thrive
With these suggestions in mind I recommend starting right away to heal your microbiome. If you don’t, you’ll always be fighting a losing battle. No matter what essential oils or supplements you try, no of them will ever work because your body will always be fighting against you.
The good news is, your overall health will also thrive by healing your microbiome, so the only side-effect of this method is glowing skin, boundless energy and a stronger immune system.
Eliminate Allergies That Trigger Autoimmune Responses
In the section above I talked about how autoimmune responses can aggravate hair loss by increasing hair follicle sensitivity to DHT.
In this section I’ll show you how some of the foods you might be eating could be triggering an equally harmful response making it almost impossible for you to get back your hair.
Most people know about having fast allergic reactions to certain foods, the main ones being peanuts and shellfish. But most people aren’t aware that slow allergic reactions can also occur.
There are certain foods and food groups which can cause these allergic reactions, and these allergies then go on to trigger autoimmune problems and inflammation – both of which lead to hair loss.
The main foods are:
- Deadly nightshades
The most common of these is gluten, so lets take a closer look at that. The other foods are much less common allergies but it’s still worth considering them as a possible cause for allergies. Most people have no problems with them in their diet.
The best way to tell if you have a food allergy is to do a 2 weeks allergy test. There are blood tests you can take, but I prefer this method because it teaches you to listen to the feedback your body is giving you about foods you are eating.
For two weeks completely eliminate gluten from your diet. I recommend doing this for at least two weeks since it will take a few days for the side effects of your previous gluten diet to wear off. Notice how you feel in the second week of the test.
Perhaps you have more energy, perhaps like me you notice less brain fog and clearer thinking.
Then, after 2 weeks add gluten back into your diet with a couple of bagels , or a pizza and see how you feel.
If you feel worse after eating the gluten product then it probably means you are having some kind of allergic reaction to it, and this could be contributing to hair loss problems by increasing your sensitivity to DHT and causing inflammation in the scalp.
It’s only by removing the food groups that are causing allergic reactions that you’ll be able to fix the underlying causes of hair loss.
Once this is done you can move on to the exciting part of directly stimulating your hair.
But before doing that you should make sure you’re eating the right foods for your metabolic type.
Eat According To Your Metabolic & Genetic Type
This is the last section before I show you how to reverse your hair loss directly. These first modules are here to fix the underlying causes of hair loss, without getting these bits right you’ll be fighting a losing battle.
Every body is different. We all have different genes and we all respond to foods differently. This is why there is no universal ‘perfect diet’ and it’s also why there’s so much debate surrounding what is healthy.
When is comes to reversing pattern baldness, having a diet that is tailored to fit you will allow your body and your hair health to flourish. For example, the best diet for an equatorial rice farmer, is not also the best diet for an eskimo.
The main difference here is what’s called ‘metabolic type.’ This means the rate at which foods are metabolised by the body.
If foods are metabolised too fast (which is what would happen if an eskimo ate rice and fruits) this would cause blood sugar spikes and other problems.
If foods are metabolised too slowly (like the rice farmer eating whale blubber) foods don’t digest properly and can cause other health problems.
My point here is that to give your hair every chance to be thick and healthy again you need to eat the right foods for your metabolic type.
For now, let’s take a closer look at the two best ways to trigger healthy hair as quickly as possible now the underlying causes of hair loss have been fixed.
Stimulate Hair Growth Directly with a Dermaroller
There have been quite a few scientific studies that show just how effective a dermaroller can be to trigger new hairs to appear.
In this section I’m going to give you a quick overview of these studies (so you can believe just how well this works) and then I’ll show you a simple method you can use to get started with the hair regrowth process.
Firstly, what is a dermaroller? A dermaroller is a small hand held device with lots of tiny metals pins attached to it. As you roll it over your skin, the tiny metals pins prick the dermal layer. This stimulates blood flow (the body rushes blood to heal the tiny wound) as well as stimulating collagen proudction.
The result is that the instead of the skin becoming hard and stiff (an environement that is impossible for hairs to grow in) the skin becomes flushed with blood, soft and supple.
If you touch different parts of your scalp now you’ll notice that at the back of the head where the hair is thick, the skin is soft and elastic. At the front along the crown and temples, the skin is less pliable, less elastic, thinner and tougher.
My point here is that elastic, supple and blood engorged skin is the ultimate prerequisite for hair growth.
The dermaroller helps return the skin to it’s natural state of suppleness.
I recommend using a 0.5mm dermaroller to get started. Any smaller and there is little affect on the skin because the pin doesn’t penetrate deep enough.
You can also try a larger size, for example in the study below a size of 1.5mm was used.
The technique for using the dermaroller is to hold it lightly against the skin and move it across the skin in multiple directions (vertical, horizontal, and diagonal).
In the study below minoxidil was used, however, as you will have seen in the earlier section there are essential oils that are more effective than minoxidil, and are completely natural so they have fewer if any side-effects.
It’s clear that the microneedling (the technical term for using a dermaroller) achieved remarkably better results than the group that just received minoxidil.
We can see a considerable amount of hair has appeared during the 12 week period that the experiment took place.
The mean hair count with the dermaroller group went from 226 up to 317 – that’s an increase of 91.
The minoxidil group went from 201 up to 218 – that’s an increase of 17.
91/17 = 5.35
This shows that using a dermaroller is more than 5 times as effective as using minoxidil alone.
Can you imagine how quickly your hair will be stimulated when you use the essential oil mixture which is proven to work more effectively than minoxidil?
Not to mention that the study participants didn’t change any other factors in their lifestyle, and didn’t even correct the underlying causes of their hair loss, like I show you how to do in this article.
Use Scalp Massages & Exercises
Now that you learnt the basic approach to using a dermaroller to stimulate collagen production and increased blood flow, it’s time for one of the most powerful methods to you can use to naturally reverse hair loss.
This method involves using very specific scalp exercises and massages to increase blood flow directly to the hair follicles. Blood flow is the most important factor in hair loss/growth.
When the hair is starved of blood, the lack of oxygen and nutrients/minerals (essential for healthy hair) cause the hair follicle to wither and die.
The bottom line is that hair needs blood – and this is the fastest and most direct route to increasing blood to the hair.
With everything else in place (the first parts of this article) you’ll really start to notice a difference as new hairs start to grow.
The goal of the massages/exercises is to reduce fibrosis and calcification of the scalp, whilst increasing blood flow and elasticity.
In 2012 a study in Hong Kong used massage (scientifically called detumescence) to stimulate new hair growth in the participants.
Participants where given scalp massages for twenty minutes per day for 300 days and the results were absolutely remarkable.
As you can see from the chart below, taken from the study, the % hair loss before and after the treatment has got significantly better.
As you can see from the chart, these massages work very well to create new hair for men and women of all ages.
I recommend doing ten minutes per day of the massages, as this should be enough to increase blood flow significantly. An even better option is to have someone else do them for you.
One of the reasons that hair loss is more common for people with sedentary lifestyles is that sitting down rounds the shoulders and tightens the muscles at the back of the neck.
This position pulls the scalp down on to the cranium, restricting blood flow and increasing the likelihood of follicle miniaturization.
This is why I recommend working at a standing desk – or even a walking desk, and taking regular walking if you spend a lot of the day sitting.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
There is now a good amount of evidence that LLLT can help rebuild lost hair.
Lasers in the range of 650 nm wavelength stimulate the scalp and the follicles themselves, with many participants noticing new hairs within a few months.
No one is exactly sure about the mechanism through which LLLT causes new hairs to grow back, but the treatment itself is probably worth a try.
The main advantage is that there are few/none reported side effects from using LLLT.
Regrowing lost hair is a slow process – it’s much easier to make a few simple changes and keep your existing hair, but if you follow these steps, and do them consistently, then I’m very confident that you’ll start to see excellent results within a few months.
If you have any questions for me please write them in the comment box below.